Fronted by bassist Pablo Damianio and reedman Gianluigi Trovesi, this quintet is rounded out by the estimable Giancarlo Schiaffini on trombone, trumpeter Paolo Fresu and percussionist Ettore Fioravanti. There are two tracks here, two takes of the same "tune," both extended improvisations based on chromatic modalities and intervallic expansion. Roccellanea is, almost a symphony in its colors and textures. There are decided movement where structures of figure, pitch, and tonal variation are erected in order to create from the resultant modes -- based on timbral modulations -- an improvisation restricted color but not necessarily shade so there are, say, many different ways to play a minor scale in A flat, and on the other, still realize all the tones between it and B. The improvising is inspired and deeply instinctual. Some mathematical models are used, but only as touch points. The sonic investigations themselves are based in world music styles, polyrhythmic approaches to playing all of the above instrumentation, and harmonic consonance -- even within some of the angular figures displayed here. Roccellanea is a panoramic vista of landscape and hue, embedded with deep metalinguistic meaning and spiritual grace.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek